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UAE's $1 bil green ammonia project to start in 2024; targets Europe, US markets

Highlights

Initial output will be 40,000 mt/year, to reach 200,000 mt/yr in 2026

Owners of projects talk to potential investors to hold stakes

Project to be located in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi

The UAE's $1 billion green ammonia project in Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi will start production in the second quarter of 2024 and target exports mainly to Europe and the US, a KIZAD official told S&P Global Platts, as OPEC's third largest oil producer invests in a clean energy pivot.

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Helios Industry, an Abu Dhabi-based privately-owned special project vehicle company set up to design, develop, finance, construct, own and operate the project in KIZAD, plans to start producing 40,000 mt/y of green ammonia in the first phase, Mansoor al-Marar, the director of commercial zones in KIZAD, said in a written interview. KIZAD is a unit of state-owned Abu Dhabi Ports. In the second phase of the project, production will rise to the full capacity of 200,000 mt/y starting from the fourth quarter of 2026, he said.

"The company plans to target regional and international markets, mainly Europe and the United States," Marar said.

Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich emirate in the seven-member UAE federation, is investing billions of dollars into green and blue hydrogen and ammonia project as it seeks to capitalize on the global thirst for clean energy products.

The UAE's energy ministry, state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., and two sovereign wealth funds -- Mubadala Investment Co. and ADQ -- formed a green and blue hydrogen alliance earlier this year targeting both local and international markets.

First project

The $1 billion green ammonia facility is the first such project to be announced in Abu Dhabi and it will be followed by another similar development in KIZAD.

ADQ-owned Abu Dhabi Ports is also in talks with utilities firm Taqa, which is majority owned by ADQ, to set up a green ammonia plant in KIZAD, powered by a 2 GW solar power plant.

The project plans to supply ships using ammonia as bunker fuel and for export via gas carriers, Taqa said in a statement July 7. The company didn't disclose the potential output of the plant or the project's cost.

Helios is also in talks with potential investors to take stakes in its green ammonia plant, Marar said, adding the talks are "expected to be concluded soon."

"The company has plans to finance the project through project finance, which includes local and international lenders," he added.

KIZAD and Abu Dhabi Ports want to join the clean energy wave due to the availability of land at the free zone and its links to Khalifa Port, the main export hub of Abu Dhabi that will facilitate exports to regional and international markets, Marar said.